Grafton secures 2nd at conference meet controlled by Cedarburg’s big numbers
The numbers game did the Grafton girls’ swimming and diving team no favors in the North Shore Conference meet at Homestead High School last weekend.
Despite turning in another in a long line of solid performances this season, the Black Hawks didn’t have enough depth to stay with Cedarburg in a race for the championship.
“When you can have 36 entries in a meet like this, that’s what happens. Cedarburg fills them, and we only had 27,” said Grafton coach John Douglass, whose team placed second with 395 points.
“That’s how the meet is scored. We don’t have enough people to stay with Cedarburg in this format.”
The Bulldogs scored 442 points to repeat as champions.
Homestead was a distant third with 301 points, followed by Germantown (289), Nicolet (253), Whitefish Bay (222), Port Washington (110) and Milwaukee Lutheran (68).
Three individual wins helped the Hawks secure runner-up honors in the NSC final for the second straight year.
Junior Sam Senczyszyn placed first in the 50-yard freestyle (23.5 seconds), as did sophomore Natalie Keshemberg in the 100 backstroke (59.88) and freshman Autumn Haebig in the 500 freestyle (5:08.6).
“I was really pleased with those swims,” Douglass said of his winners. “They won by big margins even though they weren’t being pushed hard.”
Placing second for Grafton were Senczyszyn in the 200 freestyle (1:56.08); Autumn Haebig in the 100 butterfly (58.18); Gabby Kraus in diving (366.8 points); the 200 freestyle relay of Keshemberg, Emma O’Brien, Autumn Haebig and Senczyszyn (1:38.88) and the 400 freestyle relay of Autumn Haebig, Keshemberg, Stephanie Haebig and Senczyszyn (3:40.83).
The Hawks got thirds from Keshemberg in the butterfly (59.3), Katherine Bordetskaya in the 200 individual medley (2:17.93) and Paige Schommer in diving (361.7 points); fourths by Rachel Hauer in the 100 breaststroke (1:10.28) and individual medley (2:20.09); and a fifth from Bordetskaya in the breaststroke (1:13.66).
“I can’t complain at all about our performance,” Douglass said. “Our girls have been training hard and were tired, but we still did well.”
Port Washington’s best individual finishes came in diving, where Kristen Smith took fourth (338.4 points) and Becca Murray was seventh (207.8).
The Pirates got a seventh from the 200 freestyle relay of Ann Nuedling, Kelsey Brockman, Elise Andersen and Sasha Ottesen (1:55.43) and eighths from the medley relay of Brockman, Ottesen, Nuedling and Andersen (2:10.91) and the 400 freestyle relay of Monica Gotthart, Alyssa Laabs, Brittany Heinen and Breanna Grady (4:54.78).
Ottesen, a freshman, placed ninth in the individual medley (2:30.56) and 11th in the breaststroke (1:16.43). Both times were personal bests, a trend among Port swimmers throughout the meet.
“To have a majority of girls have PRs in a meet like this is great,” Port coach Melissa Hoogester said.
“The girls are continuing to show improvement.”
Grafton and Port will take aim at postseason honors this weekend when they participate in a Division 2 sectional meet at Plymouth High School.
Diving begins at 6:30 p.m. Friday, followed by swimming at 2 p.m. Saturday.
The winners of each event will advance to the state meet along with the next 12 best finishers from all sectionals.
The Division 2 state meet will be held Friday and Saturday, Nov. 15 and 16, at the University of Wisconsin Natatorium in Madison.
Image Information: GRAFTON JUNIOR Sam Senczyszyn placed first in the 50-yard freestyle and second in the 200 freestyle at the North Shore Conference meet last weekend. Photo by Sam Arendt